The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it has foiled a supposed plot by the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) to burn an Indigenous People school in Lianga town in Surigao del Sur over the weekend.
Residents reported to the military about the NPA’s plan to attack the government-run IP school in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, military officer 1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan said, prompting the AFP to send security forces.
“The information provided to us by the community members manifested that they truly care for the newly-constructed IP school as this will ensure the good future of their children,” Punsalan told state-run Philippine News Agency on Saturday.
Construction of the said school started early May and was just completed last month. The school, ran by the Department of Education, was dubbed as “the school of living traditions.”
Manobo tribe leaders in the town had lauded the construction of the new IP school, saying it has brought “fresh hope” for their children.
The reported plan of the NPA was foiled on the same day that the government said the new Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 takes effect.
The said law provides the government with more powers to guard against terrorists. Several groups however have criticized the law on fears that it might be used to silence critics.